Online education has been a struggle to say the least. Apart from the obvious, such as missing friends and teachers, there are many other issues that come along with online school. These issues include things like students being unable to stay focused and miscommunications.
One of these is the struggle to stay focused which is caused by the many distractions that are almost unavoidable at home. Most students will work with a TV on in the same room, phones within an arm’s reach, and computers in front of their faces. These are all things which, at one time or another, become distractions to a student.
Many students may have multiple family members in the house at the same time, causing even more distractions. Family members could distract a student by talking or just doing normal routine things around a student who is doing virtual learning.
Staying focused during a monotonous Teams meeting becomes almost impossible with all the distractions that surround a student.
Another struggle many students have faced during online schooling is trying to stay motivated. Normally, a student would have time to get most of their school work done in school and what they did not, they would work on with friends during off-mods or finish during whatever free time they found during school hours.
Instead, students now spend around seven hours per day in front of a computer screen doing schoolwork at home and then have to spend more time finishing assignments after this. This creates the feeling of a never-ending day consisting of seven hours of school, additional hours of homework, and then having to things such as chores and errands.
With the seemingly never-ending school day and list of things afterwards, it is hard to find the motivation to write an essay or do an extra math worksheet.
Another problem with online school most students will face is the confusion and miscommunication that will sometimes occur between students and teachers. Not going into school can create confusion on due dates and times which could affect a student’s grade.
Another common miscommunication is where certain assignments are located. Students will inevitably face the dilemma of trying to figure out whether directions for an assignment is on Microsoft Teams under one of the many tabs, in Veracross, or on a teacher’s website. All of these possible places could — and sometimes do — lead to a student’s being unable to find an assignment. This ultimately hurts the student’s grade.
Online school hasn’t been all-around bad. John Carroll has done an exceptional job of making a smooth transition into virtual learning.
Even with this, there are some unavoidable drawbacks for students and teachers that lead online learning to feel more like a daily struggle than anything else.
While I know that students are beginning to move into the building next week, let’s just hope we are able to move from virtual sooner than later.